Flute vibrato is that shimmery variation in pitch that warms up the flute's tone.
It is produced very much like a singer's vibrato.
A visual is the violinist's or cellist's hand as it moves back and forth.
Many times vibrato occurs naturally in the flutist's tone, as a result of having good breath support.
Sometimes, though, vibrato can be a difficult concept for the flutist. Because it is an internal process, it is hard to grasp.
A few exercises will help develop the vibrato.
First, start with a slow and wide variation in the pitch. Try saying the syllable "ha" into your flute. Now do it several times in a row. Don't worry about make it fast.
Now, let's make that "ha" sound rhythmic. Turn on your metronome to a slow speed of about 60, and blow the "ha" sound three times to each click.
Practice this until you are confident with it.
Long tones are a good way to practice vibrato.
While practicing long tones, play with a straight tone (no vibrato) and add vibrato in varying numbers per metronome click.
Increase the number of vibrations to four, then five. Keep them wide rather than narrow.
It actually used to be the style to play with a narrow vibrato in the early part of the 20th century, but this is extremely undesirable now. Singers sang with this kind of vibrato, too. It reminds me of bleating goat!
Practice this exercise until you can do it naturally and without straining.
Strive for five vibrations per click on your metronome.
In performance, the flute vibrato should not be metronomic. It should be adapted to the style of playing, sped up and slowed down.
Vibrato should enhance your playing rather than stick out.
New! CommentsHave your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below.